Our theme for this newsletter is “Stronger Together” – as a team we need to work together to save sight, and the most important member of this team is YOU! Unless YOU see us regularly, there is no way we can ensure that your vision is cared for.
Caring for Our Children
It is currently exam time – a time when your child needs to perform at their most optimal level. Roughly 80% of what is learned is learned via the eyes and vision – good vision is thus very important for learners of all ages to reach their full academic potential.
There are three types of learning-related vision problems:
- Eye health and focus problems. Affects visual input. Focus errors include near-sightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, but also include more subtle optical errors called higher-order aberrations. Eye health problems can cause low vision.
- Functional vision problems. Affects visual input. Functional vision refers to a variety of specific functions of the eye and the neurological control of these functions, such as eye teaming (binocularity), fine eye movements (important for efficient reading), and accommodation (focusing amplitude, accuracy and flexibility). Deficits of functional visual skills can cause blurred or double vision, eye strain and headaches that can affect learning.
- Perceptual vision problems. Affects visual processing and integration. Visual perception includes understanding what you see, identifying it, judging its importance and relating it to previously stored information in the brain. This means, for example, recognizing words that you have seen previously, and using the eyes and brain to form a mental picture of the words you see.
Symptoms of learning-related vision problems include headaches or eye strain, blurred vision or double vision, crossed eyes or eyes that appear to move independently of each other, dislike or avoidance of reading and close work, short attention span during visual tasks, turning or tilting the head to use one eye only, or closing or covering one eye, placing the head very close to the book or desk when reading or writing, excessive blinking or rubbing of the eyes, losing place while reading, or using a finger as a guide, slow reading speed or poor reading comprehension, difficulty remembering what was read, omitting or repeating words, or confusing similar words, persistent reversal of words or letters, difficulty remembering, identifying or reproducing shapes, poor eye-hand coordination and evidence of developmental immaturity.
If your child shows one or more of these symptoms and is experiencing learning problems, it’s possible he or she may have a learning-related vision problem.
Remember to have your child’s eyes examined at De Jongh Optometry to ensure he/she has all the necessary tools to perform well!
Strokes and vision – how they are related
As Stroke Day takes place on 29 October, we want to look at the effects a stroke can have on a victim’s vision. Following a stroke, an individual might suffer from visual problems, ranging from mild to very serious. According to www.stroke.org, up to two thirds of people experience some changes to their vision after a stroke. Having trouble with your vision can be distressing and it can affect the rest of your recovery.
Post-stroke vision problems can fall into one of two general categories: vision loss or perception problems. Different types of visual field loss include:
- Hemianopia is blindness in one half of the visual field. A stroke that occurs in the left hemisphere of your brain can inhibit the ability to see the right visual field of each eye, while right hemisphere stroke can impair the left visual field of each eye.
- Blindness in a quarter of your visual field.
- Refers to an island-like area of blindness, typically smaller than hemianopia or quadrantanopia.
- Tunnel vision. Peripheral vision is lost. Medically, this is known as bitemporal hemianopia. The outside half of the visual field in each eye is blind.
- Double vision.
- Visual midline shift, where the centre point in your line of sight is perceived as having shifted either left, right, above or below where it really is.
- Visual neglect, also called inattention, is when you ignore objects in a certain area.
- Other visual perception problems include depth and distance perception, colour detection problems, dizziness, hallucinations, and failure to recognize common objects.
At De Jongh Optometry we have a keen interest in assisting people who experience adverse visual symptoms after suffering from a stroke. With Deidre’s expertise and our state-of-the-art equipment and techniques we’ll ensure that your vision and any complications affecting it is very well cared for.
Arthritis and the eyes – how do they affect each other?
Very few people realise that dry eye syndrome and arthritis goes hand in hand. Most people with arthritis report discomfort such as scratchy, irritated and red eyes during a routine eye examination. According to www.healthline.com, inflammatory arthritis can pose troublesome risks to specific parts of the eye. Learning how to keep your arthritis under control can protect your eyes!
Marilize is our dry eye expert – arrange an appointment with her today and she will gladly assist you to alleviate your discomfort to this regard.
As can be seen from the above content, complications related to the eyes affects everyone, from children to people of old age. By regularly checking your eyes, you can greatly reduce the risk of suffering from a condition that affect your vision. De Jongh Optometry cares for our community and we will gladly assist – do not hesitate to contact us!